Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Ice Bucket Challenge and GISHWHES

Yesterday my good friend Chelsea Hagen, who I met at Kenyon, challenged me to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

So I did it.




Sorry about the fuzzy quality. I filmed it on my iPad.

Due to the way my iPad case/stand works, I couldn't tell if the camera was pointed in exactly the right direction. So I just went for it and hoped for the best.

And accidentally made it so that I was off-camera when I dumped the water on my head.

Oops.

A word to the wiser than me: don't do it if you live in California. There's a drought going on. But I did it with recycled water over a plant that needed to be watered, so hopefully I didn't do too much damage.

If you want to donate--which would be awesome--go here: http://www.mndassociation.org/get-involved/donations

or here: http://www.alsa.org/fight-als/ice-bucket-challenge.html

I thought I'd also take this time to write about GISHWHES, which is another crazy thing that Chelsea talked me into. Apparently she's good at getting me to do crazy things.

GISHWHES stands for the Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen. It's this big world-wide scavenger hunt where you find or make the items on the list and submit videos or photos. It's put together by Misha Collins, who plays Castiel on Supernatural (I don't watch it, but I have a lot of friends who do). It lasts a week and it was really fun!

Participants are assembled into teams of fifteen. Not all team members are in the same area. The team I was on was spread out between California, Illinois, Texas, and Canada. We found a website to chat on so that we'd know who was doing what.

The first thing I called was an item asking for "Jump the shark." Now, jumping the shark refers to the moment when something has declined in quality to the point where it's just trying to get attention by doing something ridiculous. It first came from a TV show where, in an attempt to get viewers, one of the actors jumped over a shark while waterskiing. But the GISHWHES item specifically said "Be creative. Points will be taken off for missing limbs and shark bites," so no actual sharks were involved.

As soon as I saw the item, my mind flew to a classmate who had worn a shark costume during Spirit Week. I called her and she was kind enough to let me borrow it, so I picked up the costume that afternoon.

Two days later I was in my friend's backyard, jumping rope in a shark costume with my legs sticking out.

I can't post this one here, because it's on my friend's channel and it's an unlisted video so I can't access it. But I wrote a jumprope rhyme to go with the video. It went:

I had a baby shark and his name was Toothy Tim
I put him in the bathtub to see if he could swim
He swam around the water, he ate my rubber duck
He chewed it and he swallowed it and then it got stuck.

The next thing I did was modify my bike. The challenge: "We think your bike has been disappointing you with its current performance. Turn it into a warp-speed capable space ship. Film yourself riding it."

So I bought some silver spray paint and silver duct tape and went to work. 

Here's what it looked like: 


I was going for a Starship Enterprise effect, but let me tell you, that thing was hard to ride. The attachment on the back kept hitting me in the legs and the hood over the basket conveniently blocked my view of the gearshift. 

But I did it. Woo!

The next item tacked was the public service announcement about how to best serve our new jellyfish overlords, since the jellyfish will be big winners in global warming. This was so much fun to write. My friend and I wrote it, our other friend read it for the camera, and I edited it. I had a heck of a time with the editing, since it could only be fifteen seconds long. I wound up speeding up the clip slightly, so my friend's voice was a tad squeaky. The whole thing had a very Night Valelian aura. 


Then I went after the family of four enjoying a formal dinner where everything above the tablecloth is made of Legos. That one was a photo. I got some extra Legos and brought them to my friend Merula, who a) is an expert at Legos and b) has a family of four. Unfortunately I can't post this one, as Merula doesn't like having her photo on the internet. 

After that, Merula came back to my house and our other friend came over and we made pasta with jam sauce! We used this recipe, as was required: 
 The challenge was to make it and then have a certified, published food critic review it. Good thing my mom is friends with a certified, published food critic.


The stuff was actually surprisingly tasty. Merula in particular loved it and took most of it home with her. 

Then, on a whim, we did the challenge of "Have an elderly person teach you an obsolete skill." Many thanks to my dad for agreeing to impersonate an elderly person. 





The next challenge was quite scary...

The challenge: "Get everyone in a subway, bus or train car to sing "Over the River and Through the Woods." There must be at least eight passengers and it must not be staged."

So that's how my friend Sally and I wound up taking the Metro to Pasadena so that we could get a video on the way back. 

It was a really fun trip. But on the way there, we saw someone get arrested. The train was pretty much deserted when it pulled into the Memorial Park station, and this guy got on. And then these two police officers got on the train, pulled him off it, and as the train pulled away Sally and I saw them frisking him and leading him away. Which was like, holy crap. That was kind of scary!

It turned out that there was a farmer's market going on in South Pasadena, so Sally and I got off the train, walked around a bit, and shared a crepe. It was super fun. Then we got back onto the train and attempted the challenge. 

Before I show you this, I have a question: Do you know the lyrics to Over the River and Through the Woods?

Yeah, no one else does either. 





Thanks, Misha Collins.

When we got off the train on the way home, the police were there checking peoples' Tap cards to make sure that they had paid for their rides. Just in case we needed to be any more nervous than we were.

The last item planned was a gingerbread neighborhood full of vice. My friend and I had gotten the gingerbread and made the dough with mixed results on the day of the jellyfish PSA. See, what happened was we got some gingerbread mix and decorations at the store. The box had three sets of instructions on it: on the back were the directions for ginger cake and soft gingerbread cookies, and on the side were the directions for the kind of gingerbread cookies that you use a cookie cutter on.

We accidentally made the soft cookie mix. Which required about eight times as much water as the normal mix.

Oops.

So we kept adding flour until it thickened up and then stuck it in the fridge to harden. I baked the pieces a few days later, and the day after the train ride Sally came over to help me frost and assemble.

It was a precarious undertaking. The walls were misshapen and lumpy, there were a LOT of people, and one of the two buildings only had half a roof (we made the other half out of graham crackers). It was the kind of thing where you didn't want to sneeze too near to it in case it fell over. But eventually we got it done.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you: A Shootout Outside of The Elopus Strip Club and Bobby's Tattoo Parlor.

In case you can't tell what's going on: the guys in green (a.k.a. the Peter Pan Evil Girl Scouts) are having a shootout with the guys in black (a.k.a. the Ninjas) outside of a strip club and a foreclosed tattoo parlor. One cop is down, while his buddy his chatting up the hooker in the ally. 


We got candy lips just for the hooker.

The Elopus, by the way, was this year's GISHWHES mascot.

This was enormous fun to make and I am proud of it. The gingerbread was horribly bland and the icing was plasticky, but it looked amazing! 

The Elopus Strip Club was finished on the last day of GISHWHES. We'd done all we had signed up for and I thought that was it until about nine o'clock that night...when suddenly, one of my California teammates realized that she wouldn't be able to complete the sci-fi movie poster starring Misha Collins and the Queen of England (no photoshop allowed). So I pulled out my pencils, pens, and a couple of markers and got to work!




 I am SO PROUD of this poster. I went for a 50's monster-movie look and I am SO. PROUD.

It was submitted half an hour before the deadline and then I was well and truly done. GISHWHES was over. And I am SO doing it again next year. :D






Thursday, August 7, 2014

Quick post

...to let people know that I'm not dead. Close, but no. I've been doing GISHWHES this week, and thus I've been super busy.

I need to get some sleep so I can get up and do stuff with gingerbread tomorrow, but I promise I'll tell you all about it once it's over.

As an apology, have a couple of old funny pictures.



Yeah, they've been on the blog before. Deal with it. 

See ya.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Theories on Dragon Training (Puts On Tinfoil Historically Inaccurate Viking Hat)

I went to see How To Train Your Dragon 2 yesterday, and holy cow, it was great! I'd seen the first one a few months ago at a friend's house, but Dad wanted to see the second one with me so we checked the first one out of the library and watched it Saturday night. I also used to be a big fan of the books when I was younger, and I got to go to a Cressida Cowell book signing once. That was fun. I got a plushie of Toothless. It looks like Movie Toothless, but it's about the size of Book Toothless. (Book Toothless is a lot smaller, if you didn't know that already.)

Me with my Toothless plushie outside the library. It was a few years ago, hence the long hair.

And the soundtrack--wow! I mean, I'm already a sucker for anything that sounds Irish/Scottish (Scotch?)/fiddle-y, and it was just so good! I just bought the soundtrack to the second movie and I'm listening to it as I type.

Having seen both movies in quick succession, I came away with a few conspiracy theories to explain minor plotpoints/plotholes that they didn't address.

**WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS FOR BOTH HTTYD AND HTTYD2. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED. DON'T SAY I DIDN'T TELL YOU SO.**

So in the first movie, it takes Hiccup quite a while to gain Toothless's trust, right? I mean, they can't even make eye contact the first time Toothless lets Hiccup touch him. But then nearish the end, when Hiccup and his classmates have to go help Stoic and the other adults beat the alpha, they train the other dragons pretty fast. It seems like a plotting gap, but I have an explanation!

See, the other dragons they train are already used to having humans around. I mean, yeah, the humans have mostly been fighting with them, but it didn't look like any serious injuries were done to the dragons. So the other dragons are already more trainable. Plus, Hiccup's already been covertly working with them for the past few weeks during his training.

On a similar note, I have a theory that when the alpha died in the first movie--the "Queen Bee" alpha--that made all the dragons under his/her/its control more susceptible to human friendship. Some kind of psychological bond obviously exists between the alpha and the other dragons, but when the alpha died with no new alpha to replace it, that bond would have snapped. Or maybe the Vikings were seen as a sort of alpha-substitute, since they were the ones who dispatched the old alpha. Either way, the satellite dragons are going to be much more open to human friendship, companionship, and training. Also I think Hiccup was probably out for at least a week or two between losing his leg and the end of the movie, so there was some time to adapt.

The one thing that I was wondering after I saw HTTYD2 was How did Drago control that alpha? I mean, Drago's alpha was HUGE. It could have just stepped on him or something. He was not that big a threat to it. But I figure that Drago probably put some serious effort into training the alpha--and by "serious effort" I mean that he refined some truly horrifying torture techniques for use on really big dragons. Making friends with it just isn't Drago's style. He must have found a way to make the alpha fear him, then figured out how to forge some kind of psychic link with it so that it knew and obeyed his commands. I'm not quite sure how he did this, but it can't have been fun for the dragon. I mean, did you see those chains around the alpha's tusks? Yikes.

So there you have it: my way-too-in-depth take on the HTTYD universe. What do you think about it? Any new theories?

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

More Writing Adventures...And Now I'm Home Again

Wow, I can't believe I've been home for three days. I miss Ohio already. I miss the thunderstorms and the fireflies and how it wasn't two hundred degrees out so you could actually walk around without frying. That was nice. And the rain. That was nice too.

My last couple days at Kenyon were really fun. On July 4th there was a parade. It was the shortest parade I've ever been in. It was also the only parade I've ever been in, but seriously, it really was short. The Young Writers' program marched in it, led by the decorated golf cart. Did I mention the golf cart before? Well, halfway into camp, one of the guys broke his leg playing Ultimate Frisbee and got a huge cast put on it. So for the rest of camp the golf cart, driven by an R.A., took him from the dorms to the dining hall to the writing building.

One of the R.A.s ran over a plastic fence post thing and broke it once. It was one of those things where there's a few plastic posts with a chain suspended between them cordoning something off and he hit one of the posts. The R.A. just picked up the post, stuck it back in the ground, and said, "No one saw that, right?" Onlookers: "Saw what?"

Anyway, back to the parade. So we had the guy with the broken leg leading the marching writers on the golf cart. He also led the cadences. I don't know if you've ever done cadences. They're this call-and-response parade thing. Ours went something like this:

We like writing, yes we do!
We like writing, yes we do!
And we want to write with you!
And we want to write with you!
Alliteration, metaphor!
Alliteration, metaphor!
We will write you out the door!
We will write you out the door!
Sound off!
One two!
Sound off!
Three four!
One two three four
One two (beat) three-four!

And my personal favorite:

John Green walked on Middle Path,
John Green walked on Middle Path,
But he wasn't good at math!
But he wasn't good at math!
Life is not a metaphor,
Life is not a metaphor,
Take your "okay" out the door!
Take your "okay" out the door!
Sound off etc.

So yeah, that was fun. It lasted all of about fifteen minutes, but it was fun. Perfect 4th of July weather, too, sunny with bright, cottony clouds.

Sadly, July 4th was also the last day of camp. There were some last day activities--last classes, emotional goodbyes, and, excitingly, a ghost tour of Kenyon College, led by the R.A.s with their own personal ghost stories. If you ever get a chance to take the Kenyon ghost tour, I'd definitely recommend it. There were some truly terrifying stories. 

It was really nice at night--there were so many fireflies! We also saw a deer and some baby raccoons. The R.A.s were like, "Yeah, the swimming pool ghost is serious business, and so are mother raccoons, so let's stay to this side of the path." My friend and I started joking about our tour group becoming next year's ghost story if anyone had messed with the raccoons. Yeah, so last year there was this idiot writer on the ghost tour who got bitten by a baby raccoon when they tried to pet it and died of rabies. Ever since then people keep coming across lines of poetry written on the walls in chalk. And occasionally someone walking at night will feel an invisible person petting them. (That last line was my friend's contribution. Yikes.) Fortunately, that never got a chance to happen, although we did get the crap scared out of us when this soccer ball randomly rolled onto the path. But then the guy kicking it around revealed himself and it was one of us writers so it was okay. 

Sadly, there was not time on that last night for another game of Mafia. I don't think I mentioned Young Writers' Mafia before. We played it a few times and it was a lot of fun. Although it was slightly different than the way I'd learned it. 

*Warning: Dirty jokes abound in the following story. You have been warned.*

If you already know how to play Mafia, you can skip the next two paragraphs.

So, Mafia. For those who don't know, here's how it works: You've got a deck of cards, or at least part of a deck. It has to include the king, queen, ace, and, if you're playing the way we did, jack. The moderator, or God or whatever you want to call it (we used God), passes the cards out to everybody. Everyone takes a card and looks at it without showing anyone else what it is. Ace is the Mafia. There can be either one or two Mafia, depending on how many people you have. King is Detective and queen is Doctor, unless I got that backwards and it's really the other way. Jack I'll get to in a minute. Anything other than those is just a random citizen. Once everyone knows their cards, they pass them back and the game begins. 

Everyone goes to sleep until God says "Mafia, wake up." Then the Mafia raise their head(s) and point to the person they want to kill. God makes a mental note of it and tells the Mafia to go back to sleep. The Doctor wakes up and chooses someone to save. If it's the victim, the victim doesn't die. If it's not, nothing happens. The Doctor has no way of knowing whether they're saving the victim. Also the Doctor can save themselves. Then the Doctor goes back to sleep and the Detective wakes up. The Detective points to someone and God indicates whether or not that person is the Mafia. Then, if you're playing like we did, the last person wakes up and does their job, and that person is the Prostitute. 

Yep, that's something you probably won't see playing Mafia with the Girl Scouts. The Jack is the Prostitute, and his or her job is to keep someone else busy for the night. Like everyone else, the Prostitute picks who they want to, uh, distract without knowing what anyone else is. If s/he picks the Mafia, no one gets killed. If it's the Victim, then the Victim doesn't die because they weren't home when the Mafia came calling. On the flip side, if the Prostitute distracts the Doctor and the Doctor had actually saved the Victim, then the Victim dies because the Doctor was otherwise occupied. (I think. There was some contention on that point.)

Anyway, once everyone wakes up and we find out who's dead, the townspeople have to accuse, convict, and execute someone who they think is the Mafia. Doesn't matter whether they are or not--if they get voted off, they still die. So two people die every round, the Victim and the Condemned (unless the Doctor manages to do his/her job. Or the Prostitute.) If the townspeople manage to kill both Mafia, then they win. If it gets down to two people, the Mafia wins. 

The addition of the Prostitute led to some very interesting conversations. For instance, that moment when I, as the Mafia, found out that I'd spent a very interesting night with the Prostitute and for some reason didn't remember any of it. She claimed that there were horse tranquilizers involved...which of course begs the important question: Was this before, after, or during? Her answer: "Uh...well, how would you react if I said 'all three?'" 

Okay, sorry, yeah, I'll stop now. But seriously, best moment of the game had to be at the end of one round when the quietest, most-upstanding guy in the group stood up and said, "This is embarrassing to to say out loud, but I was the Prostitute." 

And we had this one hilarious God who was doing really well until he accidentally revealed the Mafia imposed divine intervention and struck down the Mafia with a thunderbolt. I don't think I can go any further without worrying my parents, but it was pretty awesome. 

ANYWAY. Back from the Mafia game, dirty jokes aside, writing camp was awesome and I was really sad when it was time to go home. I had to leave at 9:00 on a shuttle that took me to the airport. It was my last chance to look at the beautiful rural Ohio countryside. I love things being green. I really miss that here. There was so little asphalt and so many plants! Some day I'm moving somewhere that looks like that. 

Once I got to the airport, I had to deal with the stressful business of checking baggage and making it to the gate on time. At least I didn't pack my computer at the bottom of my carry-on this time. Air travel tip: don't do that. You'll have to pull your computer out of your bag to go through security and it's really annoying having to upend everything else. I did that on my flight to Ohio and learned from it. 

So then I had an hour-long flight to Minneapolis, where I changed planes to go to L.A. Whoever decided to put the plane from Minneapolis about two miles away from the plane to L.A. and give the passengers less than 20 minutes to get lunch for the plane and make it across the airport deserves a five-hour layover in the middle of Alaska. (Nothing against Alaska, it just seems remote). But nevertheless I got a burrito from some Hawaiian stand run by a woman whom I have mentally christened The Golden Goddess of Airport Food, due to her being really nice even though I was sort of stressed and a little crabby and her also getting the food to me fast enough for me to run across the airport and make my plane. 

And when I got there...I was like, Oh, yes. Finally. Third plane journey and I FINALLY got a window seat! That was AWESOME! I love window seats, in case you hadn't guessed. 

I was glad for the window seat especially because the rest of the plane did not look good. There was pretty much no leg room. The plane didn't have TVs in the back of the seats, which was a plus, but it did have them spaced periodically down the ceiling. This allowed for a pre-flight safety video which was neither funny nor reassuring. They were trying really, really hard for both, but they failed miserably. Worse, the video kept glitching--you know, blurring and going staticky and black for a few seconds before continuing. I don't know about you, but I don't particularly like being on a plane that can't even get the equipment to show the safety video to work. I just kind of looked at the guy next to me and said, "This is not reassuring," and he was like, "No, it definitely is not," and then I was like, "Let's just hope we get to L.A. in one piece" and crossed my fingers and he nodded and said, "Good idea." 

But yeah, we made it in one piece. It was a really long plane flight. They showed Rio on the TV screens. Or maybe it was Rio 2. I don't know, I've never seen either and I don't really want to. I plugged my headphones in for a few minutes near the end and all the voices seemed really annoying and overdone. After a while I stopped being able to read and then I remembered that I have the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special on my computer, so I wound up watching that. 

And then I got off the plane and found my parents in the airport. They'd brought me frozen coffee, which was nice of them. I like frozen coffee. So I told them all about camp on my way home, and now I'm back and the suitcases from Kenyon are sitting in my room looking accusatory because I still haven't finished unpacking. I'm still a little jet-lagged, but I'm recovering. Although I should probably get some sleep now. It's 11:37 California time and 2:37am Ohio time and I don't even know which my body is on any more. I'll do a blog post for Kenyon photos once I download them. Hope everyone's having a great summer!


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The Next Zonko's Candy

Something funny happened at the Athletics Center the other day...
(Warning: some crude humor involved)

Three friends and I were playing foursquare in a squash court. This in and of itself had presented some problems. We tried playing squash at first, but there were four of us and it was a small, indoor court. Someone's head was going to come off if we kept batting little rubber balls around. So we got a bigger ball and decided to play foursquare instead.

For some reason we couldn't agree on the rankings. Normally it's something like King, Queen, Jester and Royal Toilet, but ours varied from that to Queen, Queen's B****, Prime Minister and Courtesan to Star Trek style with Gold Shirt, Blue Shirt, Red Shirt and Space Hooker to Evil Overlord, Second-In-Command, Minion and Prostitute to a few other things. For some reason the lowest rank was always some sort of prostitute. I don't know; maybe there's something wrong with us. Of course, we are writers. XD

Anyway, there's this thing in foursquare where whoever has the ball calls "Candy shop!" then says the name of a candy and passes it. Each person has to catch the ball and say a candy. The first person to blank or repeat a type of candy becomes the Royal Toilet, or in our case the Prostitute.

(In the interest of privacy, I'm referring to my friends as Friend 1, Friend 2 and Friend 3.)

Friend 1: *Catches ball* Candy shop! M&Ms! *Throws to me*
Me: Uh, Bugbars! *throws to Friend 2*
Friend 2: Twizzlers! *throws to Friend 3*
Friend 3: Skittles! *throws to Friend 1*
Friend 1: Butterfingers! *throws to me*
Me: ...What the f*** are Bugbars?

Needless to say, I lost. But I was already the Prostitute at that point, so it's not like it mattered...

The point is that there will never be a time when the word "Bugbars" is not funny to me. It's like something out of the Monty Python "Crunchy Frog" skit. I don't even know where it came from. I think I modified the word "bugbear" for some reason and it just popped out...it doesn't even make sense!


UPDATE:
The funniest thing just happened to me.

I got back to my room a few minutes before my roommate, so I was sitting on my bed rereading one of the books I brought from home (This One Summer by Jillian and Mariko Tamaki, if anyone's wondering) when she walked in.

Roommate: Oh, hey, look, there's a person in my room.
Me: Haha, yeah, don't worry. It's just your roommate.
Roommate: Oh, darn. I was hoping there was an attractive person in my room.
Me: *about to call her on it*
Roommate: Oh my God, no! That's NOT what I meant!
Me: *laughing*
Roommate: I was going to say 'an attractive MAN' but then I decided not to at the last moment! You're definitely attractive! That came out SO wrong!!!
Me: *still laughing my ass off*
Roommate: Let's just say I was hoping the Doctor would be in my room and leave it there.
Me: *still laughing, because come on, that was HILARIOUS!*

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Tales from the Writer's Camp

We've been having a bit of a cafeteria battle with the swimmers.

See, Kenyon was hosting some kind of swim camp at the same time as the Young Writers' Workshop. So all week, we've had to try and beat the swimmers to the dining hall (which, by the way, looks like Hogwarts without the magic ceiling. It's awesome). Or we just wait for it to clear up a bit.

The swimmers were really aggressive about their tablespace, too. They had the tables at the back of the hall reserved and they'd look at us like "DON'T COME NEAR US, YOU WEIRDOS." Or maybe that was just me. But if anyone who wasn't a swimmer tried sitting down at those tables, they got kicked off.

Which is why I felt justified in being a bit passive-aggressive towards the two swimmers sitting at the end of the table at lunch. The table that was clearly labeled "Reserved For The Kenyon Young Writers' Workshop." I didn't do anything too bad, but I did keep nudging the sign towards them until they left.

I don't think they left because of the sign, though. I think they left because there were a lot of young writers at the table and said young writers got into a loud and interesting discussion about the sex lives of condiments.

(Warning: some dirty jokes ahead.)

So on one end of the table there was a lonely pepper shaker, and on the other were two salt shakers. Obviously, my friends agreed, the salt shakers were a gay couple. The pepper was the arse of a significant other whom one of the saltshakers had left for the other saltshaker. I drew a little doodle of two of the alchemical symbol for salt hooked together.

Then we got into the ketchup and mustard. They were a couple, but the mustard was cheating with the relish. *Shocked gasp*

Which led to the catcall from the mustard to the ketchup: "You look pretty good from beheinz."

The barbecue sauce was all on its lonesome, with a fetish for other types of foods like meat and ribs.

The salt (different salt) had an abusive relationship with soy sauce, since the soy sauce just dissolves it.

This led to pickup lines such as: "Hey, baby. Wanna supersaturate my solution?" and, if the pepper was trying to flirt with the salt, "Hey, baby. Wanna grind my peppercorns?" (I told you there were dirty jokes.)

Then someone suggested the slogan: "Practice Safe Snacks. Use A Condiment."

Oh my God, the looks we were getting from the other tables. They thought we were freaking INSANE. Which, being writers, we are.

Anyway, the good news is that today was the swimmers' last day. Now they can go home and avoid us crazy writers for the rest of their lives!


Monday, June 23, 2014

Guess Where I Am Right Now


I'm sitting in a loud lounge on a red bouncy couch. I'm kind of slipping behind the cushion into the back of the couch. Someone just banged a ping-pong paddle against the ping-pong table really loudly. The FIFA World Cup is on TV. 

Outside it's sunny, green and yellow and glowing and glistening. The air is warm and wet and clean from the rain that soaked my hair and shirt earlier before departing as suddenly as it came. 

Nope, I am not in California any more.

I'm in Ohio! At Kenyon College!! For the Kenyon Young Writers' Workshop!!! And having trouble typing because I got so used to handwriting earlier today. 

The kids playing ping-pong are two Asian girls on one side with long flowing black hair and a skinny blond guy with dark eyebrows and glasses on the other side. He's wearing a Yosemite T-shirt, the girls are shorts and flipflops. One has a pink and white tank top that shows cleavage, the other a midriff-baring blue and pink thing. 

Oh, and my computer thinks its 1:59 because I haven't hooked it up to the internet yet. It's really 4:59, which really is 1:59 California time. I've been feeling a bit off today, which I think is just my body adjusting to the three-hour time difference and eating at weird times (for California. I had to get up at 7, and that's like 4 west-coast time). 

Yesterday was a travel day. Four hours on a plane, then an hour's ride to Kenyon. I got there late, along with three other California people, so we actually missed dinner. We caught the tail end of an ice-breaking exercise, then went to another thing where they introduced all the teachers and RAs. By the end of that, we were starving, but we still had to go to our respective RA floor meetings. Then, after several frantic minutes of searching during which I delved into my left-over trail mix, we finally got the pizza we'd been promised. Yay pizza!

My dorm room is okay and my roommate is awesome. We're both big Neil Gaiman fans and we like a lot of the same stuff so I think we'll get along pretty well. 

I don't know if it was the time difference or what, but I just could not sleep last night. I just lay there staring at the wall for like an hour before finally pulling out my flashlight and finishing the 500+ page book I'd started on the plane (Now I'll Tell You Everything by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor). Then I stared at the wall more before finally dropping off, only to wake up an hour before I had to. 

The dining hall at Kenyon looks like the dining hall at Hogwarts minus the magic ceiling and the house colors. It is awesome. 

The workshops so far have been pretty great. Lots of free writing and reflection. I feel like today was sort of a nonfiction day and I kind of hope we get more into fiction and stuff later. I might post some of my writing here. 

Oh, and this will be posted a few hours after I write it because I haven't gotten the internet working and I'm writing on a digital sticky note. 

*A few hours later*

Feeling really hyper again and it's late. Had a pretty good evening. Played BS with a group of kids including a guy who cannot lie to save his life. It was fun!